Land Rover has combined its wealth of experience in the off-road sector, its specialised skills in the production of game viewing vehicles, as well as its constant drive to reduce engine emissions to produce an all-electric concept game viewer.
The Electric Defender Game Viewer Concept Vehicle combines the iconic Defender’s peerless reputation for off-road ability with a cutting-edge all-electric drive system – thus making it a truly ‘green’ vehicle with zero exhaust emissions.
The pioneering project is being announced today by Land Rover South Africa, and has been developed by local Land Rover specialist Barker Performance Products with technical support from Land Rover product development specialists, Appropriately, its official debut will take place at Indaba 2011, one of Africa’s largest tourism events, which will be held in Durban from 7 to 10 May 2011.
“The Electric Game Viewer Concept is the perfect synergy of the Defender’s outstanding reputation as the definitive game viewing vehicle, as well as our drive to reduce emissions,” explains Kevin Flynn, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa.
“The all-electric game viewer concept, has zero tailpipe emissions, thus offering a clean and silent operation, and reducing the impact on the highly sensitive environment in which these vehicles operate,” Flynn says.
The electrically-powered Defender concept was conceived in response to interest from Londolozi, one of South Africa’s top game parks, fulfilling the need for an ecologically-sensitive vehicle with dependable off-road abilities.
Land Rover selected Axeon, Europe’s leading independent developer and manufacturer of battery systems, as the source for the innovative lithium ion battery unit utilised in the Electric Defender Game Viewer Concept.
The tailor-made electrical system incorporates an air-cooled AC induction motor linked to the 300-volt 27 kW-hr air-cooled Axeon lithium ion battery pack. Crucially, the entire system was configured to fit into the vehicle’s engine bay in order to maintain the Defender’s essential ground clearance, wading depth and extended seating capacity.
The electric motor produces 59 kW of power, with a regenerative capacity of 10 kW. This is linked to an impressive 330 Nm of instantaneous torque, which complements the Defender’s unrivalled off-road ability provided by its standard permanent four-wheel drive system with differential lock.
In practical use, on a single charge the electrically-powered Defender is capable of a range of 80 km, with an additional 20 km reserve – which equates to an eight-hour game drive, or roughly three times the average range of a typical outing.
Recharging is by means of an integrated single-phase charger powered from a conventional electrical point. However, the Defender’s battery system can also be replenished by means of a solar charging unit, thus making it totally emissions-free.
As expected of any Land Rover, the Electric Defender Game Viewer Concept has undergone extensive testing and meets all of the brand’s demanding design and performance standards.
An integral part of the evaluation process was conducted at the Gerotek Vehicle Testing facility near Pretoria, where instructors from the Land Rover Experience subjected the all-electric Defender Concept to a rigorous and gruelling series of tests.
It performed exceptionally well in all of the tasks and met Land Rover’s exacting off-road driving criteria. As an additional benefit, the near-silent operation also made it possible to get closer to animals during game drives, thus ensuring an even more rewarding wildlife experience.
KEY DATA AND SPECIFICATIONS
Motor Type Air cooled AC Induction Motor
Motor Torque 330Nm
Motor Power 59kW
Regenerative power 10kW
Battery Air cooled, lithium phosphate
Battery Voltage 300V
Battery Capacity 27kW-hr
Tailpipe Emissions 0 g/km CO2
Range, 60 km/h 80km + 20km reserve
Range, in use 8 hour game drive
Charger Type Fast charger, single phase
Solar Charge Compatible Yes
Transmission Defender permanent 4WD with differential lock